Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Governor Rick Snyder: ‘We aren’t going to wait for the federal government to fix it anymore’
Friday, April 15, 2016
LANSING, Mich. – Better protecting people from lead and copper in drinking water is the goal of reforms proposed today at a meeting of the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee, Gov. Rick Snyder said.
A FWICC Policy Subcommittee outlined a series of needed reforms to the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) for Michigan to follow that puts public health first while providing more transparency and public education.
“The federal Lead and Copper Rule needs to be improved immediately. It’s dumb and dangerous and in Michigan we aren’t going to wait for the federal government to fix it anymore,” Snyder said. “We need to move forward with these reforms so we can better protect the health and safety of all Michiganders. These new standards could be used as a model for other states to follow and to prevent additional water crises.”
The LCR is a federal regulation aimed at controlling lead and copper in the drinking water and can only be altered nationally via federal action. The EPA told Congress on Wednesday that the agency would not have reforms ready until early 2017.
Mike Zimmer, the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and newly appointed cabinet director for Snyder, helped lead the FWICC Policy Subcommittee’s work in developing Michigan’s enhanced LCR rules.
“We need to keep pushing for changes at the federal level but that doesn’t mean we can’t go above and beyond as a state,” Zimmer said. “Tackling these reforms means communities will be able to better safeguard residents from lead in their drinking water.”
The proposed reforms would help Michigan become a national leader, according to Dr. Marc Edwards, the Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech University and a member of the FWICC Policy Subcommittee.
“With this initiative, the state of Michigan will become a national leader in reducing lead exposure from drinking water, which is unfortunately necessary given that EPA has refused to close loopholes that we have known about for more than a decade,” Edwards said.
Key highlights of the recommendations by the FWICC Policy Subcommittee include:
“By including impacted communities in the Lead and Copper Rule's implementation and oversight, the state of Michigan will give this regulation a chance to finally become the public health protective rule it was intended to be,” said Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, a member of the FWICC Policy Subcommittee and President of Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives, a non-profit children's environmental health organization in Washington, D.C.
For more information on the FWICC, please visit www.mi.gov/fwicc.